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News: Parliament endorses extension of State of Emergency in Amhara region

The House of People’s Representatives has voted to extend the six-month state of emergency in the Amhara region during a special meeting held on 02 February, 2024 (Photo: HoPR/Facebook)

Addis Abeba – The House of People’s Representatives convened a special session this morning, during which it resolved to prolong the prevailing six-month state of emergency in the Amhara region.

The decision comes as the region continues to grapple with a region-wide militarized conflict involving federal and regional state forces on the one hand and the Fano militia on the other.

The proposal to extend the state of emergency was presented by the Minister of Justice, Gedion Timothios, who underscored the necessity of the extension during the meeting.

Subsequent to “comprehensive deliberation”, the parliament endorsed the proposal, garnering a majority vote in support alongside two opposing votes, according to the information obtained from the parliament.

The extension of the state of emergency aims to maintain “peace and security of the people” amidst the ongoing region-wide militarized conflict, the Parliament further said.

The government initially announced the imposition of a six-month state of emergency in August 2023, and said the decision was “essential to implement emergency measures aimed at preserving public peace and security and enforcing law and order.”

According to the statement issued by the Council of Ministers at the time, the security landscape within the Amhara region has escalated to “pose a threat to national security and public safety,” thereby mandating the formal declaration of a state of emergency.

The declaration of the State of Emergency in August was preceded by a series of instability in the regional state that began with mass protests in several major cities against the federal government’s decision to reorganize regional special forces into regular police and the national army.

The protests have quickly deteriorated to widespread clashes and instability and the subsequent assassination on 27 April of the Head of the ruling Prosperity Party in the region, Girma Yeshitila.

On 28 April, the Ethiopian Joint Security and Intelligence Task Force announced that it started “taking decisive measures” against “extremist forces” that it accused of “trying to take control of regional state power by destroying the constitutional order in the Amhara regional state.”

The Amhara regional state has since been the epicenter of the latest militarized conflict involving government forces armed groups that swept large parts of the regional state.

Although major urban centers within the Amhara region have since appear to be reverting to a relative state of stability, recent accounts indicate the emergence of fresh conflicts in numerous cities and towns across the region, leading to casualties, injuries, and the devastation of public infrastructure. AS

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